Thursday, 15 November 2012


My wednesday night, and thursday morning class did portraits this week, for my thursday class as a follow on from doing the group portrait photographs, they needed  some idea of how to proceed with faces, but most of the faces on the group photographs were at odd angles, so I decided it was best to remind my improvers alongside introducing my beginners to drawing proportions correctly form straight on, before tackling odd angles, the principle and practice is the same, but applied differently.

Unlike my drawing class, thursdays aren't used to using proportional dividers, so we worked
 out the proportion of the head by first boxing it in one the photocopy, and scaling it up on the watercolour paper.
After we had drawn a rectangle around the face on the photocopy, we stuck it down to our watercolour paper, and extended the bottom horizontal, and left vertical lines beyond the copy onto the watercolour paper, and did the same to the diagonal from bottom left to top right, and choosing a point on the diagonal line beyond the photocopy, determined how big the picture would be, so the further away meant a bigger picture.

Then we gauged that the eyes were half way down the paper, and drew reference lines to indicate the distance between the features, see below.
It helped to find a center point by joining up all 4 corners to find the middle.
once the position of the features were established by roughing them in very lightly, we could begin to get their shape right.

It is at this stage that common mistakes occur, making the eyes too big is a usual one, because that is what we look at most, and therefore attach more importance to them, however if one part of the features are wrong, then the rest will follow suit, if it doesn't look right, adjust it, or get teacher to see what's wrong. : )

The painting below was my demonstration on how to put a very simple first wash down, because I think a lot of the fear in approaching faces is down to A. Getting the drawing right, and 
B. panicking about what colours to put where, which is why I showed my thurs class my painting in progress, above, so they could see that I put many, many layers down at different intervals, and in some cases I only put a tiny amount down in 1 wash, so that time and consideration was involved between each wash.

The hope was, to take the fear out of the 1st wash, which can be a simple as the one below, or, in time, a little more involved like the 1 below that, which is 2 washes on the  face.

This is what we were aiming for in my wed night beginners class, which is 3 washes, , face into left hair, shadow into left hair, then right hair.

My wed nighters accomplished this with ease, to the point where I felt I was holding them back!
SO, wed nighters, have a go at home if you get time and do another one, and take it as far as you can go, in 1 go. And let's take it from there

One of my thursday learners, I'll call him Alistair Sims, did his own portrait as a detour from the rest, It's bloomin' good eh! One wash too!

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